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Hi, I was just wondering what all people know about Petipa. My school is doing Raymonda so I was wondering also what people might know about that ballet.



Edited by balletboy101
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balletboy, while we are here to help, we also feel very strongly that young dancers need to study ballet history. It should be a part of your ballet education to read about the great people and the great ballets, and it is really enjoyable as well! :) Get thee to a library!

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Yes, "get thee to the library and quickly". Perhaps there are videos, dvds, cds and books one can read to learn about the history of various ballets and choreographers. Asking your teachers questions might also help to give you some information too! :)

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balletboy, the library is an excellent place to start. or i would recommend going to the ballet talk forums (not the one for dancers)...there is a wealth of info there...i would insert the hyperlink, but i can't figure that out...best of luck!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

when people ask what i'd like for birthdays, etc, ive been saying since i was 1o or so: 'ballet history books' and lots of them took time to find some terrific one. i go to the library and use the intenet, too, but my favorites are the ones i own. i have decent collection. i LOVE to go to used book stores becasue you can find really great ones so inexpensively-and some are out of print so you wouldnt find them anywhere else. my teachers lend us theirs, too- or we can read them on rehearsal breaks. I also tie in my hisotry reports with dance and that has made me do some fun research.

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at a summer dance camp when she was a pre-teen, my duaghter and her classmates were asked by a smart young ballet teacher to bring in a paragraphs each on petipa or another choreographer of his day. she loved this and it sparked a real interest in ballet history-and history in general.

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I started ballet 2 years ago at the age of 17 and because I started late i felt the need to learn all I could about ballet so i started to buy dvds of the classics and now my collection has reached over 50 dvds of all of petipua's ballets and by other choreographers. ballet history is extremely important to dancers. you don't know where you are going untill you know where you have been.

Raymonda is Petipa's last grand ballet. The music was done by Aleksandr Glazunov and set in Hungary. their is a strong emphasis on classical character dancing as well as ballet. the character dancing is so stressed that the wedding variation done by raymonda is not beautiful because of pyrotechnic turns or jumps but by the simple hand gestures and poses common to hungarian styled character dancing.

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ALPHAMALE86 you have done some very nice research. I applaud your efforts in obtaining knowledge of ballet history. There is a great deal of material to study and perform in Raymonda, a long and beautiful ballet, for both male and female students. Although Act III, the Wedding, is more commonly performed as a divertissement, Act I and II provide for lovely character and classical group dances for both male and female dancers as well as classical female variations. It is difficult to find classical group dances for both male and female dancers in the classical repertoire where the dancers are not doing peasant dances. Act I in particular provides a nice opportunity to introduce male and female dancers to the corps work necessary for their futures as professional dancers. So many students have the misconception that being in a company is about pas de deuxs where as for the most part, when dancing the classical repertoire both men and woman have a lot of corps work to learn and perform.

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Thank you vrsfanatic, in these past 2 years ballet history has grown into a strong passion for me. There are some questions though that I needed some answers to and didnt know if you or any memeber could provide these answers.

1. In Petipa's Swan Lake I read that the White Swan Pas was not apart of the original choreography done by Petipa or Ivanov. I also learnt that the black swan pas was apart of the first act and not the third. Do you or any of the members know who is responsible for these changes?


2. Also keeping with Swan Lake, which music is the orignal Black Swan Pas music. I do not know if you are familiar with ballet dvds but in the Royal Ballet versian the music is completely different to the La Scala version which I believe uses the music used by Mr B for the Tchaikovsky Pas. I understand that the music from Tchaikovsky Pas is in fact music from Swan Lake but is it the original black swan music or is it the Royal Ballet ABT version the original?

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The White Swan pas de deux (pas d'action, really) has always been a part of Act II. The coda was changed for the 1893 revision by Ivanov. In the 1877 score, the Black Swan music is in the first act, making it about an hour long. Petipa and Riccardo Drigo transferred it to Act III for the 1895 4-act revival.


The Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux music was composed in 1877 especially by Tchaikovsky to replace an interpolated pas de deux with music by Minkus. It was the original Black Swan.


Here, click around in this. More than you wanted to know:



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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Solor

I wrote this review.....well its more of a history lesson on the so-called "Black Swan PAS DE DEUX. I wrote it in response to this review by a reviewer on Amazon.com who is always putting up incorrect information concerning ballet history (Hopefully she modified her articles). It was actually through reading this reviewers rather shamefully incorrect comments on ballet history, particularly surrounding the "classics" that got me into writing reviews for Amazon.com. Being that I type super fast I have no inhibitions about writing a 'novel' in order to share knowledge.


Its on the page of the La Scala SWAN LAKE W/ Zakharova. -


my 'Black swan history lesson' if you will, is 2nd from the top, Im Adam -


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